Vintage acquires two for classic crime list

Vintage has acquired two authors for its classic crime list, including 16 titles by former poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, writing as Nicholas Blake.

Vintage editor Alison Hennessey acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (including Canada) for 16 titles by Nicholas Blake from Camilla Shestopal at PFD.

Blake was the pseudonym of Cecil Day-Lewis, former poet laureate and director at Chatto & Windus. The 16 titles, Blake's entire series about the detective Nigel Strangeways, will be published in May 2012 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Blake's death.

The first four, A Question of Proof, Thou Shell of Death, There's Trouble Brewing and The Beast Must Die will be published as B-format paperbacks. The remaining 12 will be  published simultaneously as POD and e-book only: The Smiler With The Knife; Malice in Wonderland; The Case of the Abominable Snowman;  Minute for Murder; Head of a Traveller; The Dreadful Hollow; The Whisper in the Gloom; End of Chapter; The Widow's Cruise; The Worm of Death; The Sad Variety; The Morning After Death.

Hennessey also acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to The Steel Spring and Murder on the Thirty-First Floor by Scandinavian author Per Wahlöö from Niclas Salomonsson at the Salomonsson agency.

Both Wahlöö titles will be published in November 2011.

Hennessey said: "I am delighted to be bringing two such respected classic crime writers back into print.

"Nicholas Blake's detective, Nigel Strangeways, is the perfect gentleman detective, as erudite and quirky as Agatha Christie's Poirot or Margery Allingham's Campion, while the two Inspector Jensen novels are an unsettling glimpse into a dystopian future from the grandfather of modern Scandinavian crime fiction."

Classic crime authors in the Vintage list include Margery Allingham, Gladys Mitchell, Patricia Highsmith and Edmund Crispin.